Day 2 - Lake Morena

I slept a long time last night, but my air mattress had a slow leak which meant I had to pump it up twice.  I'm worried it may have been punctured by a sharp little desert rock.

I struck camp and started hiking at ten til 7.  This morning was cool and pretty, there were clouds for the sun to hit and there were lots of views.  I got water at mile 12.7, a nice seasonal creek that was flowing nicely.  I had breakfast in a sunny spot on a hill.  The trail joined a road around mile 14, and then took a left down to Hauser Creek.  The way down was rocky and there were bushes grabbing my umbrella.  I reached a little creeklet that's not mentioned in any guidebook, but it was running fast and clear so I filled up and washed the socks I wore yesterday so they'll be clean for tomorrow.  I washed them by getting stream water in a bottle and running it over them, on rocks away from the stream.  The stream critters don't want my nasty sock sweat in their habitat.  Gross!

After that break, I breezed past Hauser Creek and started the uphill climb.  It was about 3 miles of uphill, maybe more.  Lots of switchbacks, and I could see a group of dayhikers ahead.  The first people of the day, and it was almost 11!  I didn't think I'd get this much solitude so early in the trail.  I saw several horny toads!  I stopped several times for breaks, not just because it was hard going up so much.  I also felt a little stab in my right big toe, like a small thorn. I just couldn't find the thing.  I washed my foot twice looking for it to no avail.  Oh well, nothing to be done.

A a nice shady tree, I stopped and soon after was joined by Eli from Sweden.  We talked briefly before I moved on.  The fries at Lake Moreno were calling me.

The climb ended with some great views of the lake, then the trail looped downhill.  It was confusing at the campground, I ended up following their nature trail a short ways to the ranger station, where I washed up.  I then went in search of where the trail actually hit the road and those fries.  I saw Eli again and he pointed me in the direction of the fries.  They were good.  I also had some fresh fruit.  It was weird to just walk up to a place with a pack on.

I went back to the campground for water and saw Chris and Kathryn again.  They're camping here for the night, saying it's too much.  I told them I was going to hike on 3 or 4 more miles.  As I left the campground, I saw a couple in this gorgeous spot right on the trail, with a cooler.  They said hello, do you want a beer?  I said, no, thanks and kept walking.  I almost immediately regretted it.  What am I out here to do, anyway?  I had made good time, I could stop and hang out a little.  I said no to the first trail magic I was offered on the PCT!  Noooo!  As the trail climbed and the sun continued to beat down, I also started thinking about how nice it would be to have company tonight.  I thought I really wanted to be alone, but I think I just want to be alone part of the day.  Tomorrow, I'll find time to be with people and next time I'll say yes to trail magic.  I'm camped now at mile 23, in the brush not far off the trail.  I discovered the reason my air mattress leaked - there was a hair in the valve!  The moon is bright and dogs are barking in the distance.


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